My family and I travel to a lot of towns across the country and abroad, and it’s quite eye-opening. I am presently in Cincinnati, and as is often the case, I ventured out to the nearest grocery store I could find in order to get some basics for the hotel room.
The best real grocery store was about half a mile away. It was a Kroger, which was a name I remember from my Louisiana childhood. I finally got there, and boy, what a shock. If you took the Palo Alto Whole Foods Market and inverted it, you would get the Cincinnati Kroger. I present to you below the entire produce section of the entire store.
Yep, just a few shelves of fruit and vegetables. Keep in mind, this isn’t a convenience store. This is a full-sized grocery store. And just to drive this point home, here is the section devoted to “drink”. More on this in a moment.
So they have Orange Drink and Grape Drink and maybe some others. Apparently “drink” is (1) tap water (2) artificial color (3) sugar. Throw it in a plastic milk jug, put it in the refrigerated section, and voila, you’ve turned 2 cents of ingredients into a $3 product. Of course, it has absolutely zero nutritional value.
An equally large section was devoted to nothing but potato salads.
Of course, these are the “perimeter” items. The dry goods was, to be quite blunt, aisle after aisle of total shit. Artificial ingredients. Corn syrup. Fake colors. Colors that never occur in nature. Just straight-up garbage, like this beauty:
It explained why the customers looked the way they looked. Overweight, unhealthy, and gaunt.
I mean, look, I am not the paragon of fitness and health, but I am blessed to live in an area that is not only populated with high-end groceries but, more importantly, with people that expect it. The old saying about “you are what you eat’ is so true, because crappy groceries from crappy grocery stores result in crappy health.
Of course, you don’t need to scrutinize the ingredient labels or the organic grass-fed meats to confirm that a place is really good. I have one simple litmus test, and it takes the form of my one addiction. If you have the product below, you are a superb supermarket.